Democratic Progressive Party (Singapore)

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Democratic Progressive Party
Chairman Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas
Secretary-General Benjamin Pwee
Founder Seow Khee Leng
Founded March 16, 1973 (1973-03-16)
Ideology Democratic socialism
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Politics of Singapore
Political parties

The Democratic Progressive Party (abbrev: DPP; Chinese: 民主进步党) is an opposition political party in Singapore.


The history of the party dates back to 16 March 1973, when it was first formed by a splinter group from the Workers' Party led by Seow Khee Leng (former Assistant Secretary-General of WP, 1971–1972) and named the United Front.[1]

The United Front contested in three consecutive elections (1976 general election, 1979 by-election and 1980 general election) before being renamed the Singapore United Front on 5 March 1982, and contested again in the 1984 general election. SUF chief Seow Khee Leng was then sued by Lee Kuan Yew and the ruling PAP government over defamatory remarks made at two rally speeches that Lee and his cabinet were guilty of corruption.[2]

In January 1988, the party merged with Workers' Party to contest the 1988 general election and the Singapore United Front became defunct (though the party remained an officially registered organisation).

In 3 February 1989, former SUF chief Seow Khee Leng was made bankrupt after failing to keep up with payments for damages owed from two separate but similar libel suits brought by Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP government following slandering remarks he had made at general election rallies in 1984 (for which he had been ordered to pay Lee damages of S$250,000 plus court costs and interest, and the PAP government another S$250,000 plus court costs and interest).[3]

In 1992, some former members of the Workers' Party together with Seow Khee Leng (who has contested in five elections ever since the very first general election in 1976 that the party took part in) revived the Singapore United Front, renaming it the Democratic Progressive Party.[4]

A father and son pair of Tan Soo Phuan and Tan Lead Shake stood as candidates for the party in the 1997 and 2001 general elections, though they did not achieve much electoral success. Tan Soo Phuan lost his election deposit of S$6,000 at the 1997 general election after he failed to achieve the necessary threshold of 12.5% of the votes which was required to retain his deposit in Chua Chu Kang SMC. In the 2001 general election, Tan Lead Shake lost the election deposit of S$13,000 in Ayer Rajah SMC for the same reason.

In July 2002, both father and son were subsequently expelled from the DPP for breaching party's orders during the 2001 general election. (The elder Tan did not inform the party of his decision to contest MacPherson, while the younger Tan contested Ayer Rajah instead of Joo Chiat without informing the party).[5]

DPP did not contest in both the 2006 and 2011 general elections, even though the party had expressed interest in contesting the Tanjong Pagar and Marine Parade GRCs helmed by Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong respectively during the 2011 general election.

In December 2012, Seow Khee Leng invited a group of former members of the Singapore People's Party including Benjamin Pwee and Mohamad Hamim Aliyas to join and take over the leadership of the party. Benjamin Pwee was appointed as the party’s Acting Secretary-General in January 2013. At an Ordinary Party Congress meeting held on 31 March 2013, Mohamad Hamim Aliyas and Benjamin Pwee were officially elected as the party’s Chairman and Secretary-General respectively.[6]

Central Executive Committee[edit]

  • Chairman - Mohamad Hamim bin Aliyas
  • Secretary-General - Pwee Yek Kwan Benjamin
  • Assistant Secretary-General - Leung Wei Lit Wilfred
  • Treasurer - Juliana binte Juwahir
  • Organising Secretary - Ting Tze Jiang
  • Assistant Organising Secretary - Sa'aban bin Ali


  1. ^ "Breakaway group from the WP forms new party". The Straits Times. 30 December 1972. 
  2. ^ "PM and Cabinet sue SUF's Seow Khee Leng". The Singapore Monitor - Evening Edition. 21 December 1984. 
  3. ^ "Seow Khee Leng made bankrupt over amount owed to PM". The Business Times. 4 February 1989. 
  4. ^ Democratic Progressive Party,, retrieved 16 February 2013.
  5. ^ "DPP slipper man and father sacked". Today. 2 July 2002. 
  6. ^ "Democratic Progressive Party’s 40th Anniversary". The Online Citizen. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 

External links[edit]